The 1st Annual Kabbetz HaEsrim Midwest and the 23rd Annual Birthday de Jami

Aimee: Stop being an idiot!
Noam: Go back to the island [Puerto Rico]!

So the 20s conference was this weekend. We had around 50 people registered, with a bunch of Chicago folk showing up to the Shacharit Shabbat service (including Beth, Igor, and Vita!!!!). Anyway, they said it was the largest 20s event in the history of the UMJC. There were 15 people from Columbus, Ohio, oner person from Kansas, and everyone else was from Chicago. Going into this conference I was remembering the onef rom this summer where nobody talked to me because they didn’t know me. I was hoping this one would be different. It was different because there were so many people from Chicago. By now I know pretty much everyone, at least a little bit. Friday night was just dinner and a short message from Kirk at Devar. Nikki and I showed up early at the hotel in case anybody from out of town needed a ride. They had a van big enough for everyone so they didn’t need rides. So we go to Devar and shortly after the service they say the van is leaving to go back to the hotel. Most of the Chicago people stayed at Devar to shmooze, but Aimee, Vlad, Josh, and I went back to the hotel so we could meet some new people. We get there and everyone from Ohio had gone up to their rooms to hang out with each other. There was a group of people from another congregation in Chicago that were hanging out in the lobby but they were just talking to each other and didn’t acknowledge us sitting next to them. So it was basically the five of us chillin, eventually noam and Shacahr came over. But there was one guy from Ohio that came to talk to us, and actually, he was raised Amish and gave us his testimony. It was really cool. I feel stupid now that i didn’t know this, but I apparently Amish mentality is close to Catholic mentality, as far as being believers go. What’s funny is this guy was doing a lot of the tech stuff (like sound, etc). He’s come a long way from being Amish lol. I left before I would have had I been staying in the hotel. Apparently I missed a fight between some guys staying in the hotel and our people pulling the guys off of each other. Oh well.

I came home really angry about the cliquiness. It’s ridiculous. The point of these conferences is so we can come together and know there are other people who understand, etc. In fact, the theme of this weekend was THREE STRANDS:
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
9 Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work:

10 If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!

11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?

12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

So, on Saturday morning, to hear them talking about that, it was just frustrating to hear that and everyone is like “yeah, so important blah blah blah” and they don’t even want to meet other people.

Anyway, aside from that it was probably the best service I have been to anywhere. Jason Sobel is a great speaker. I’ve never been so drawn in to a service before. It’s another reason not to be at Devar, because the services seem kind of…dead…yeah.

After the service we had to go to Devar for lunch. I had decided Friday night that something needed to be done about this segregation of Chicago people and Ohio people. While people were waiting for the van I decided to intercept some of them. I randomly asked a few people if they wanted to ride with me and they actually said yes. Unfortunately Aimee intercepted them from me, but at least they were talking to someone not from Ohio. Then after lunch back to the hotel I did find four Ohio people that wanted to ride back with me. Also Nikki, Aimee, Shoshana and I went to Jamba Juice during the free time and found two Ohio people that wanted to come with us, including one who had never even heard of it before.

The reason we went to Jamba Juice is 1) I was so tired and needed an energy boost and 2) we were told our dinner would be kosher pizza from a place that’s bad, so we wanted something to tide us over. Anyway our dinner wound up being Lou Malnatis haha. Nice kosher pizza! Also they had a February birthday celebration. Three girls from Ohio rewrote “Under the Sea” now called “Under 30” and sang to us. There were two cakes: a sheet cake for Josh and Mark’s birthdays, and an ice cream cake just for me but I only had a tiny piece, because I was full and it wasn’t from DQ, it wasn’t really good, but it was the thought that counts this time and I did really appreciate it:

I thought I was turning 23, but apparently I was wrong lol. Although the candle on the other cake was a question mark lol. So I had made a wish and was right ab out to blow out the candle when that punk Josh decides to blow it out for me (does this mean my wish won’t come true? ). I guess everyone who knows me saw him do that and was like “Oh no, what is she going to do??” Can you guess what I did? If you guessed that I immediately put the cake down, ran after him, and put him into a wall, you guessed right!

After dinner we had two choices: go to the Kingston Mines for a blues show or go bowling. I wanted to go bowling, until I found out it was $10 for one game. But I decided to go anyway, because Jen and Slava were going and Aimee decided to go too, because we never get to see Jen and Slava, and they are amazing. So we get to the bowling alley around 9:30pm and apparently it doesn’t open until 11. Also, the people who went to the Kingston Mines wound up not being able to go, because there was a $15 cover charge. I would also like to point out the original plan was to go Whirlyballing. In fact, the e-mail that went out earlier this week said that’s what we were going to do. I’ve been telling Noam for a while to make a reservation. They wound up not even calling until a few days ago, then were told they needed to call two weeks ago HELLO!!! Nobody listens to me!! Anyway, I hope next time they actually think the activity through a little more.

So we somehow wound up going to Harry Caray’s. Which would be fine, except we get there 30 minutes before they close, with a party of eight, with 12 more on the way. Also, like three people ordered food. As a server I see this from the restaurant’s perspective. I was so upset that I was part of a group that would do this, but it’s not like I could do anything about it. I was so full but I got food anyway, because, again, I see it from the server’s perspective. I didn’t pay for my dinner, because it was my birthday, so I don’t know, or want to know, what they tipped him *sigh*. However I don’t know how I would have tipped him since several people ordered drinks and he didn’t card any of them, including an 18 year old. It upset me, because if I did that, and got caught, Red RObin woudl lose its liquor license for, I think, 15 days. And I think that’s really irresponsible. Jen and Slava wound up having to leave because Jen had to work early, so we caught a ride back with Noam. He had parked in a parking garage, and, upon driving through the gate, I had a terrible flashback to backing into a pole a few weeks ago *sigh*.

Thir morning was the closing words. Then I made sure to tell people from Devar that didn’t know that I was leaving the congregation so that I could say goodbye. Then some of us went to IHOP and I drove home for a short shnatz.

Except for the cliquiness and the social activity on Saturday night, I do think it was a good conference. I’m ready to be done with the midwest though. Over the summer there were really only people from the midwest and east coast there. I’m told the west coast is totally different, so yeah guess I’ll just have to wait a year and see. I did meet a girl from Ohio who is thinking of going to grad school at San Diego State, but not until Fall ’09…dangit, so close. Also, someone told me I should talk to a lawyer about getting out of my lease. So I guess I’m going to do that, maybe, but if I get out of it and they wind up charging Elizabeth double, then there’s no point and I just need to keep paying for it. I can’t do that to her.

Tonight was my birthday dinner at HaShalom. I had a lot of people RSVP as “maybe” and say they would get back to me and never did. But there were 10 of us and everyone was Messianic, so I guess everyone who said they woudl get back to me and didn’t probably would have been uncomfortable. Okay, so it was me, Shachar, Michelle, Aimee, Jen, Slava, Igor, Vita, Nik, and Lisa. Aimee and I were going to go see David Paige’s show afterwards but it didn’t work out. Okay so Aimee had to take Michelle back to her car at the hotel and she was going to take Shachar back to Moody, but was in a hurry and for some reason asked me to take Shachar back, so I said okay. As long as she tells me how to get to 94 afterwards it’s okay. So everyone wound up leaving except Nik and Lisa, because they got lost and came super late and I couldn’t just leave so Shachar and I stayed. I was really glad that Igor and Vita came. They left Devar while I was at school, so I hadn’t seen or heard from them since before Thanksgiving.

Anyway, after Nik and Lisa were done Shachar and I go out to my car. Nik and Lisa decided to walk us there, which is kind of funny, because Nik and Lisa are skinny and short and the exact opposite of intimidating, and Shachar was in the IDF and I’m feisty, so you would think it would be the other way around. But it was the thought that counts. Anyway, we get to my car and I look at my left back tire and it looks like it’s flat. I ask what they think and they don’t think so. I get up next to my car and sure enough…the tire is flat. I knew this day was going too well *sigh*. I get my phone to ask my Dad if there’s still a donut in the trunk, etc, and the phone slips out of my hand and FALLS UNDER THE CAR!! Not only that, but I can HEAR SOMETHING break. Fortunately Nik is small enough and awesome enough that he could reach under my car and get my phone. Fortunately the only thing that came off was the back. He was able to get that too and put it back together. And the phone worked. Thank God. So I call my Dad and he says there is still a donut in the trunk and it still has air in it. Shachar has changed a tire before so we decide we are going to try to figure this out so that we don’t have to call AAA. She can’t get the lug nuts off, because we don’t have a wrnech (she told me to check in my glove compartment…which Lisa happened to be holding at the time, since it was in my trunk, because it fell off a couple weeks ago lol). I don’t know why I decide we should call Igor, but I just had a feeling. So Nik calls Igor, he comes with a set of wrenches. They break the wrench. It’s time to call AAA. They tell me they’ll be there by 11:17pm (it was around 9:45pm when I called). Fortunately Igor and Vita live like three minutes from there so he says we can come back to his apartment while we wait for AAA. Thank God, because, if I can see my breath and my nose is running like nuts (though I still have a little bit of a cold so that didn’t help any), I don’t want to be waiting outside for AAA. So we tell Nik and Lisa they can go home and we go hang out at Igor and Vita’s for like an hour before they call. So they call, the guy changes the tire. he looks at my regular tire and can’t see anything in it. Meaning it was a random leak. This is the 3rd random flat tire I’ve had inb a little over two months, second in less than a week. Three different tires too. So when I bring my car in tomorrow, I’m going to ask them to look at the 4th tire too lol. Oy! Anyway, thank God I wasn’t by myself when this happened, I wasn’t driving when this happened, and we had a warm place to stay while waiting, and people cared enough to wait with me.

Fortunately I have off of work tomorrow too, so I get to bring it in and also send Kirk an e-mail letting him know I’m leaving.

Anyway, except for the flat tire, this birthday didn’t really suck. God had a funny way of showing me people care about me. But I think my car is ready to move too…



  1. @tsunamifirestorm – i don’t think i could beat anyone up because 1) i’m not very strong and 2) i couldn’t live with the guilt, but i have been known to kick people who get too close to me and if you read the part about josh blowing out my candle i really did put him into a wall (though not hard enough that it would hurt him, i don’t think i could ever do that or want to)

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